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Are Codeine Pain Meds Safe for Kids?

What to know before your doc writes the prescription.


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© ISTOCKPHOTO.COM / CHARLES WOLLERTZ
 

Warnings about kids and codeine are nothing new, but the opiate is still being given to them. In 2013, the FDA warned that codeine use after a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy may lead to life-threatening breathing reactions or even death. Yet despite the warning, a December 2017 follow-up study in Pediatrics says about five percent of kids were still given codeine after these surgeries. Although it’s been used in kids’ prescription pain meds and over-the-counter cough syrups for decades, the AAP says codeine shouldn't be given to kids.

 

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